Why ISU’s Campus Would Still be Awesome Even If All of the Buildings and Other People Spontaneously Disappeared: PART TWO

*note: this is the second in a two-part post because Augustine REALLY LOVES Iowa State.  The first part is here.

Reason 2, Animals: Must have learned from the Honey Badger

For some reason, most of the animals here on campus don’t give a darn about what the rest of ISU is doing, which is pretty awesome. They go about their lives, eating, playing, and sleeping, without caring who walks by or stops to watch.

Lake Laverne Geese & Swans: About a week ago I noticed that about one hundred geese were back at lake Laverne, I still have no clue how there can find enough to eat there, but to see them swarming around the lake and onto the sidewalk by Lincoln Way was fun. They didn’t care that I came right up to them, could have given several of them a pet if I really wanted to.

Raccoons: Now, a lot of people don’t like raccoons at all, in fact, the vast majority of society spurns them. I however, think raccoons are pretty cool. I don’t know why, it might be that I read a book in middle school about a boy with a pet baby raccoon that ends up dying after a couple years. I cried when I read that book, one of only 2 books I can remember crying during (The other was Old Yeller, which is weird, because the only pet I ever had was fish). So I enjoy the occasional raccoon sighting I get on campus. There are 2 racoons who I have seen much more than others, they frequent the west side of the MU and the area south east of Howe Hall.

Squirrels: For some odd reason, squirrels also fascinate me. Maybe it’s because squirrels have been trained to jet ski before, or that they are supposedly the only animal unable to get rabies (but can still carry it). Maybe I just like the idea of jumping through the trees and skittering around with a big bushy tail. My pet of choice would definitely be a domesticated squirrel, hands down. Watching them around campus chasing each other, eating, or staring back at me really makes me think about what life would be like as a squirrel, and I think it would be a ton of fun on a college campus like ISU (except for the really short life span, average is 6 years in the wild).

Red Tailed Hawks: Now, my experiences with hawks have been far and away the coolest so far. Previous to last week, I had seen a few red tailed hawks flying around, but never one up close. Last Monday, the 24th, I was headed to the MU, and came across a giant red tailed hawk that had just killed a rabbit. It was 2 feet off of the sidewalk, right by the fountain in front of the MU. I immediately pulled out my phone and began snapping pictures, it was amazing. I was able to inch my way up until I was less than 3 feet away, and the hawk didn’t care at all. Even after I started snapping pictures, I was amazed that 95% of people walking by (not an exaggeration) did not even notice the hawk 2 FEET OFF THE PATH! I ended up standing and watching the hawk for a solid 35 minutes as it devoured the rabbit, ripping it to shreds with its beak. I can honestly say that I have never experienced the savage beauty of nature in a more personal and gripping manner. I am still surprised that the hawk let me watch him dispatch the rabbit from such a close distance, but infinitely glad that he did so.

Villa red tailed hawkISU is Augustine’s own personal Animal Planet episode


Alone on Campus

If at ISU one fateful day,
The people and buildings all went away
And left me alone (today in the snow)
What would be left on campus to make me say “Whoa”?

The magnificent weather puts on its own show
With lightning, and warmth, and snow as it goes
The animals too, each display their own feats
Living in harmony, despite unique beats

There is truly no campus like that we have here
Even without mention of the people so dear
And thus ends this blog post, and my day’s writing
I hope you find something that’s half as exciting
As the sights I have seen, and the things I have heard
As I watched our own campus without saying a word

Augustine Villa



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